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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

PHASES   OF   LYRIC   POETRY                        423

a symbol of his breaking away to his suffering brethren. He cries
out like any expressionist:

Form ist Wollust, Friede, himmlisches Genugeny
Dock mich reisst es, Ackerschollen um^upflugen.
Form mil mich verschnuren und verengen^
Doch ich mil mem Sein in alle Weiten drdngen . . .

Stadler uses by preference a long plunging line which is clearly an
imitation of Whitman. Der Aufbruch has clear unity of theme: it is
the story, once again, of the German youth as Parzival or Sim-
plizissimus. There are four sections: Die Flucht pictures the flight
of the youth from all that is base; Stationen relate episodes on the
quest for the ideal; Der Spiegel is the revelation of truth and the
relinquishment of self; Die Rasf is appeasement. Die Flucht gives
the sordid experiences of a boy; ideal beauty dies in the bed of
prostitutes; the collapse of dream in the pollution of desire. The
second poem states the goal of all the wildering quest; and it is
notewrothy that Der Aufbruch leads up to the magic phrase found
in Der Cherubinische Wandersmann of Angelus Silesius and which is
to be one of the holy texts of the ethic expressionists: Menschy
werde wesentlich!

This call to man: to thine own self be true! is the very message
of FRANZ WERFEL. It is not the general verdict that his novels
(pp. 371-3) have more value than his lyric verse1; but the fact re-
mains that he is a lyric poet in the sense that Schiller was - there
is high moral or ethic fervour, but it is sonorously rhetorical.
Through his series of verse volumes we have, not magic of line,
but considered delivery of a doctrine, and even the ejaculatory
hacking of the line is part of the plan to precipitate overpowering
pathos. In Der Weltfreund (1911) Werfel makes his confession of
faith in humanity; in Wir ^^(1913) he proves that we are because
we feel that we are one with our brother, and that the typical dis-
harmony (at the period), that of father and son, is due to the
splitting of the Weltseele or cosmic Allseek into reality - ideas
which are fairly commonplace. In form Werfel has greater variety
than Stadler but is much at the same stage: he too rhymes Whit-
manesque lines of unequal length which sometimes overflow into
the next. He has Whitman's ecstatic apostrophe, and like Whitman
1 Gedichte aus 30 Jahren (1938).